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Champion Hurdle Antepost

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Replies: 290
By:
roobuck
When: 22 Jan 13 21:17
I don't have a problem with backing a horse based on a visual impression if the price offers value to out run its price. Darlan hasn't done anything to justify its price imo and that's the issue
By:
CVByrne
When: 22 Jan 13 21:17
Darlan is 4/1 though, It's a crazy price. He has no standout form at all imo. Won a race in heavy ground run at a crawl against no champion hurdle rivals.
By:
colmaaca
When: 22 Jan 13 21:27
Surely then one of the most visual impressive horses is hurricane fly, personally i think he ran a similar type of race as when he won it, just that they where a couple of horses better than him on the day.ROR winning time 3.50 the fly winning time 3.53 both ran on good going..maybe even better last year than when he won it.
By:
inchcailoch
When: 22 Jan 13 21:34
4's maybe short enough I'll give you that, but he did leave a decent field for dead off a slow pace at kempton, if he brushes up his jumping he will be hard to beat.
By:
CVByrne
When: 22 Jan 13 21:39
Listen to the first few mins of this and what they say about Hurricane Fly. RPTV antepost from January last year.
By:
CVByrne
When: 22 Jan 13 21:41
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MRSc1RcxlaA
By:
roobuck
When: 22 Jan 13 21:42
Which 3 would you prefer to own? First 3 in Xmas hurdle or first 3 in International? And he's favourite?
By:
inchcailoch
When: 22 Jan 13 21:57
As a group I'd take the international but I think only one horse will win the champion and that's Darlan IMO. I have to say I really like Grandouet, I think Zarkandar may well fall into the category of a horse with no trip.RoR is the current champion and definitely commands respect but I'd be worried the way he finished in the international.
By:
roobuck
When: 22 Jan 13 22:02
I'm not saying Darlan won't win - just saying he's a horrible price.  You said he beat a decent field but acknowledge International field was better and yet Darlan is shorter than the lot of them
By:
tyronesam
When: 22 Jan 13 22:18
Booster does it matter WHEN the race was,or my 'QUEENS ENGLISH 'for that matter....my point was he has a serious turn of foot in my opinion and seems perfectly resolute to me which has been questioned on here by some...why do some on here turn things personal when we are discussing a fcuking horse race !!!
By:
inchcailoch
When: 22 Jan 13 22:20
What I said was Zarkander, Grandouet and RoR as a group were better than Darlan, Raya Star and Dodging bullets, I don't think anyone can argue with that but individually I think Darlan is the best horse out of the six.
By:
booster
When: 22 Jan 13 22:34
A serious turn of foot but is 0 from 3 against Zarkandar and the only one to turn it personal was you, recommending I get the names of some websites from you which is amazing as I've been doing it for years semi professionally and don't need someone who thinks Overturn ran his race at Cheltenham in December 2011 to start telling me about form. Overturn had run in an Ascot Hurdle and Fighting Fifth previously and everyone knew at the time, including the trainer beforehand, that he'd not be suited to the ground and was over the top. Grandouet has it to prove against the big boys when they're all firing, anyone with knowledge of the form book knows this race is wide open. For me he won't stay in the top grade.
By:
CVByrne
When: 22 Jan 13 22:36
Can't have Darlan at all, hope he has a prep run and wins well as I want him short and a hotpot to make Flys price on the day as big as possible. I'll lay him e/w if he's 7/2 or shorter on the day. He's a big chasing type who's never won a fast run race and will be outpaced in Champion.
By:
Masterminded
When: 22 Jan 13 22:49
I can see why there are so many contrasting opinions on this thread. I think its one of the best renewals for years i couldnt write any of the first 5 off to ne honest which is unusual. For me it's between Grandouet, Zarkandar & Darlan. I have a lot of respect for Rock On Ruby and of the rest he's the one I most fear. Hurricane Fly I also respect but have my doubts this year sadly. I agree Darlan is too short but he would be my main fancy by some way.
By:
Masterminded
When: 22 Jan 13 22:57
Will just put my word in on Harry Fry. Paul Nicholls had very little to do with Rock On Ruby. Richard Barber found and always had the horse down at his yard where Harry Fry was based and now trains under his own name. It's very different training a horse who starts a season on a decent handicap mark and can slowly work his way up the ladder to the reigning Champion Hurdler who is limited to taking on the very best giving away weight to the likes of Zarkandar this season. He needs better ground and ran a very good race for a long way at Cheltenham. He just blew up going up the hill, on a less testing track he may have gotten away with it.
By:
CVByrne
When: 22 Jan 13 23:32
Just a couple of bits for people to review about Hurricane Fly last season. I dug up Mullins comments on his missed runs in winter last season

He said: "I took him out of the Morgiana this morning as I was just not happy with him.

"He'll not run until I'm happy with him again and at the moment I'm gearing him towards Christmas rather than the Hatton's Grace."


Then the Istabraq Hurdle

"He worked with Thousand Stars over one mile, two furlongs at the Curragh last week and needed it badly.

"I told the owners I wasn't pleased with him and the chances were that he wouldn't run at Leopardstown but we left him in and made a last minute decision. "

"There is nothing wrong with him. I just wasn't happy that he was ready enough do himself justice in a Grade 1 race."



Now listen to the first few mins of this RPTV review from last season and what they say about Fly.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MRSc1RcxlaA


Finally Mullins comments today about Fly last season

"I don't think anything was troubling him per say. He just didn't come back as strong. He didn't do as well in the summer, and we didn't get to put the condition and strength into him that we needed, this year he's come back so much stronger and he's taking his training well, he's doing everything right. "



Now that is as best I can piece together for you, it's in order and should give you a solid argument that Fly can run a superior race in this years renewal than he did last season.
By:
alexmillwall
When: 23 Jan 13 07:38
I still think AP will choose Binocular, he loves the horse, might mean a better price for darlan on the morning.

Just rewatched the supreme, darlan travels well but gets pushed wide on the last bend and loses 2/3lengths to C&A which is all it takes to lose this race, definately finishes like the best horse... this is after me not fancying the horse at all before watching the video again.

Im a big RonR fan after staring in disbelief at him pulling clear up the hill last year, although the Fly will be v close again. Between these 3 for me.
By:
alexmillwall
When: 23 Jan 13 07:41
oh and in the betfair last year, zark was only conceding 5lbs to darlan who travelled all over him, cant be sure he would have won but would have been tight...
By:
bluebirdfan
When: 23 Jan 13 08:06
Regarding the best value at the moment my only real gripe with Betfair is that the antepost markets don't go in play; imagine the fun we could have backing Grandouet at 7/1 now then laying at 1/3 when he comes with a double handful at the last but gets out battled up the run in.
I've never been a Hurricane Fly fan for some reason but do appreciate his talents, no value in his price currently though. Say he beats Bincoular on the bridle this weekend how much shorter realistically could he go, 2/1?
Darlan very much impressed me at Christmas on ground he would have hated but I expected him to be around the 5/1 mark after that not favourite with some bookmakers.
I'll be suprised if the winner doesn't come from the International hurdle and whilst I'm not usually one for backing multiple horses in a race all 3 look value at the momement. My only worry with ROR is if he doesn't get another run, and with Zarkander I don't care what anyone says about Daryl Jacob (and he is a blooming good jockey!) you'd always want Ruby on your horse at Cheltenham.
By:
Ming_the_Merciless
When: 23 Jan 13 08:57
*put's on (countrywide) flame proof coat*ScaredLaugh

Countrywide Flame - this horse is tough and his triumph run is being relatively ignored. He got shuffled back to about 7th on the bend that day then came through to challenge at the last then got up the hill in "Anzum-esque" fashion going away. He made up a load of ground ..... Now I like a stat as much as the next man but the Triumph stat is not valid in this case as he has run so often in top end races, 5yo's who win the fighting fifth are like hens teeth.

I just remember when Sublimity won, every one was saying what a strong race it was and how tough it was to pick one out of the vintage field.... seems like we having the same arguments this year? - are they much of a muchness?
By:
Ballydoyle
When: 23 Jan 13 09:32
Too much made of collateral form. Not really necessary to be honest. Many horses have won at the Festival esp Irish not having had any previous collateral form with their opponents.
By:
bluebirdfan
When: 23 Jan 13 12:26
Was Countrywide Flame the first horse to ever win at Cartmel and the Festival?
By:
wellchief
When: 23 Jan 13 17:50
I was at Wetherby when he lost a juvinile hurdle last year.

I never thought after that race I'd be looking at a Cheltenham Festival winner!

Similar to Cotton Mill in the Betfair, Pearl Swan is another one who could enter the Champion picture should he win (he's only 1 lbs higher than Cotton Mill and is second fav).

He'll be off the bridle with 15 of the 16 furlongs to go, but you'll know he'll stay on powerfully up the hill, and is place material imo.  On the other hand, he could pace make for Zarkandar and therefore have no chance.
By:
Fallen Angel
When: 24 Jan 13 08:38
The one outsider that looks amazingly short compared to what he has achieved is Cotton Mill. Someone will have to explain to me how a horse with an official rating of 147 is this price. He is going to have to improve 20 pounds  Surely you are better off backing him for the betfair hurdle as if he can't win that off his current mark than he has no hope in the champion. He looks much too short compared to some of the other 2nd year hurdlers.
By:
SEATHESTARS....NO1
When: 24 Jan 13 09:19
For me, CM looks one of the most least exposed with the potential to improve out of all the outsiders in the champ hdl, before PW put him up, he was readily available at 40s that's why i took 33s about him when i new it was going to be pw's pick.
Your right though, he really has to be winning the bf hdl cosily off a mark of 147 to be having any chance in the big one, which is also why i plan on having him totally on my side in that race too, along with my already backed MTOY at 12s!
Agree totally now though, plenty short enough and should he win the bf hdl will then become ridiculously so, so those with 33s+ ok but anyone with less not so with 7 weeks to go imo though look at Zarkandar did last year and he's my main pick for the race! (with a couple other cautionary ones too hehe Crazy)


P.S you all no i dont pick one or two in races at festival now, i form 'back books'.
By:
Fallen Angel
When: 24 Jan 13 09:30
ah I didn't realise he was PW. Fair enough if you took the 33s or 40s that would be the minimum I would be looking for. If Tom Segal doesn't back him for the BF Hurdle then he needs his head looking at as it makes no sense to stick up a horse at 25/1 for a better race when you can have 12s for a race where he effectively has to win.
By:
Brooksielad
When: 24 Jan 13 09:57
he already has put him up for the BF hurdle.
By:
Fallen Angel
When: 24 Jan 13 09:58
ah okay, i'm obviously a bit behind, been out the country for the last week and obviously missed these selections
By:
barnesy
When: 24 Jan 13 21:59
Just wondering is anyone on this thread has taken some 12/1 on My Tent or Yours for the Betfair Hurdle? If so they are the least most lucky guy i know. Crazy
By:
SEATHESTARS....NO1
When: 24 Jan 13 23:23
Yep barnesy, that be me Excited MTOY 12/1 for betfair hdl, 10/1+20/1 for supreme Wink
By:
zilzal1
When: 25 Jan 13 00:55
I Believe that the 2011 Champion Hurdle was set up for the Fly, and unless the same thing happens or soft ground comes into play, he wont be winning it this year.

Lets have a look at some data about the races, the going seemed slightly faster in 2011, 7.7 reading against 7.3 last year, and by the times the Supreme and Mares Hurdle were a bit faster, although the Champion was slower(i'll go into that later

2011                                               2012
Al Ferov 3-52-10                                  Cinders And Ashes 3-52.70
Hurricane Fly 3-53-71                             Rock On Ruby 3-50-10
Quevega 4-48.08                                   Quevega  4-51-27

So we've ascertained that the going might have been a bit faster in 11, but not by a massive amount and the biggest difference was Rock On Ruby was 3-61 faster than Hurricane's time. now times can be a bit misleading depending on when they start the bloody watch, but ive timed them from jumping the 1st to jumping the 3rd last in the mistaken belief that the 2011 was quicker up until then as i thought that Overturn went faster in Hurricane's year, in fact i have the Whole time difference for the two races between the 1st flight and the 3rd last.

This poses more questions than if it was the other way aroundPlain did Hurricane beat stayers in 2011 for foot, and what kind of pace will we get this year? all my opinion is that given good ground i think the race will be between the Defending Champion and Zarkander, i wont have a bet until the day, and wont entertain the race on soft ground
By:
barnesy
When: 25 Jan 13 01:57
Good work Seathestars, I think he has a great chance if the ground is fast enough. On a serious note, I totally agree with your approach. In a lot of the top races there are often a handful of horses who are very close in ability to each other and it is just about which horse gets the breaks on the day. It makes sense to cover all options rather than go with one and somewhat leave things to chance, especially in a race like the Betfair Hurdle.

On the subject of this race I think the winner very likely comes from the first two in the International. I respect Hurricane Fly but feel he is not at his best at Cheltenham and is now 9 so winning this would be a big ask. Rock On Ruby's win in this last year indicates he is a player but in accordance with my earlier point, things just do not go his way often enough and that is the only top class race win he has on his CV. Darlan is remarkably short on what he has achieved so far, and given how he lost his place at a crucial time in the Supreme I am still not convinced he is suited to Cheltenham (Kempton where his flagship form comes from couldn't be more different).

The improvement a hurdler shows from the age 5 to 6 is proven time and time again. I think in Grandouet's case missing last year could of been a blessing in disguise giving him a chance to strengthen, he looked a short runner to me as a 4yo over 2 miles and to my eye he looks a lot more resolute now. I'm just hoping the ground blunting his speed was the reason he didn't get past Zarkandar in the International. You would hope he would come on from that. I respect Zarkandar for the same reasons, you would think at 5 he was probably just not ready to show his best in the Champion Hurdle.
By:
duffy
When: 25 Jan 13 02:46
As far as an outsider bet goes have to agree with cotton mill being the best one now, purely on the staunch belief that o'regan says he had plenty left, at the time I think it's fair to say that most of us thought that simonsig would have been an easy winner and again many of us thought that simonsig would certainly be at least one of the favs for this years CH if they went that way with him, DOR was just so adamant that he would have given him a race...on that basis 25'S is probably too big
By:
booster
When: 25 Jan 13 07:47
Surely there have to be significant doubts about Cotton Mill (you'd expect that at 25-1) but why did they go 3 miles at Liverpool if he's a Champion Hurdle horse? Also, if he's that good, he'll probably win the Betfair but also have a hard enough race 4 or 5 weeks before the big one like Zarkandar did last season and he didn't appear to have recovered. Too many questions for me even at the price.
By:
robbo69
When: 25 Jan 13 08:36
Zarkandar was from a yard that the horses were ill last year. That is no argument as he still ran a pretty good race. Your other point is far more valid, not many champion hurdlers run over 3 miles before they win the race though some might of after.
By:
duffy
When: 25 Jan 13 14:36
Yeh, the zark ill thing I'd take with a pinch of salt with regards to the real effect it had on him tbh, not sure how many ill horses would be capable of winning one of the most competitive hurdles of the year, and I doubt he's that good, plus the way he came home in the CH itself is a little deceiving, he barely closed down ROR and hf bino were flattening out after having gone after the front two when zark was left wondering where they all had gone too, brampour was at it after about the 3rd hurdle and even he was closing down hf and bino after being at it for practically the whole race, zark didn't really put enough distance between himself and brampour off the home bend for me.zark will get outpaced and the thoughts that people are suggesting that zark will be raced closer to the pace as if he'll be capable of it as simple as that does not take into account the fact that he gets outpaced and looks like he won't be capable of such a feat.

yes, he'll be stronger this year but by being stronger does that mean he will be able to alter such a fundamental aspect of his run style or does it really mean that he will enhance his style of running that he already displays, namely being a strong stayer.
By:
Ballydoyle
When: 25 Jan 13 17:40
Will be 4th or 5th...not quick enough for a Champion Hurdle unless it's a bog
By:
barnesy
When: 25 Jan 13 18:45
Duffy, horses don't get outpaced at the beginning of a Champion Hurdle. They get outpaced when the leaders decide to increase the pace and go for home (Fehily and Maguire seemingly picked an opportune moment to do so in last years race). Zarkandar was delberately dropped out off the pace in both the Betfair Hurdle which he managed to win and the Champion Hurdle. Now they properly understand the horses strengths and assets they have made a conscious effort to be bang with the pace in both his races this season. He will probably lose some ground when the pace increases on the turn for home. The question is how much and if he is capable of clawing it back because it is hard to imagine there will be many running to the line from the last quicker than him.
By:
duffy
When: 25 Jan 13 22:43
He made the running last time but it wasn't anything like the pace of a CH,even so, ruby was travelling just the worse of the 3 through the race, ROR looked to just about breeze by him turning in before blowing up quite clearly I thought, fitness got him home that day, in a faster run race I wouldn't be expecting him to be able to hold his position near the head of a CH field.Again, I find it quite a big leap of faith that plenty are thinking, "hang on a minute, if he's ridden closer to the pace he won't have so much ground to make up" as if it's as simple as that, it'll have to be that way for him to win a CH though because horses do not come from too far back to win champion hurdles , that's for sure.
By:
roobuck
When: 25 Jan 13 23:02
The pace of the International was slow and would therefore make him more vulnerable to a 'fast' horse - neither of the supposed faster horses could go by could they?
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